Today we had an outing to London Zoo with granddaughter Didi and mum Hazel. It was half term so there were lots of families at the zoo. Our first stop was the new penguin beach. We were just in time for a brief talk on penguins from one of the keepers about their habitat and the different types. A giant heron decided to join in the fun!
Didi loves monkeys so our next stop was the gorilla kingdom stopping to have a look at the vultures who were having a quiet meal. Before going into see the gorillas we admired the Colobus monkeys with their almost feather type tails. The two gorillas were difficult to photograph because one was sitting high up and the other was sitting yawning almost hidden against the wall.
Bearded Pigs were the next stop. It can be recognized by its prominent beard. It also sometimes has tassels on its tail. It is found in Southeast Asia—Sumatra, Borneo, the Malay Peninsula, and various smaller islands—where it inhabits rainforests and mangrove forests. These we quite ugly creatures but Didi liked them.
In the next enclosure were the camels. These were the two hump variety but one of them had rather collapsed humps. We then visited their close relatives the Llamas and Alpacas before stopping to have a bite of lunch in the noisy (screaming kids) cafe.
The lions and tigers were having a quiet (what with all the kids around!) moment as we wandered past their enclosure. We then watched the amazing meerkats –one on look-out while the others were busy searching for food. Such funny little creature! A little larger animal fascinated Didi – the reindeers although none had red noses! We also discovered the otters all curled up together in their den.
It was starting to get cold so we headed into the Rain Forest Life exhibit and were just in time for a brief talk on the animal life of the rain forest. There were some amazing tamarins particularly the Emperor Tamarin with its curling moustache. There was another kind which was carrying two babies on its back. As part of the talk one of the keepers was feeding a sloth. It turns out that unless they fed it by hand all the other monkeys would steal his food. The sloth spends most of its life upside down and moved very very very.............. slow!
Our final stop for the day was visiting the giraffes and okapis before we headed back.